There are a lot of things that Doug Wilson and I don’t agree on (not the least of which is our interpretation of the Apostle Paul’s letters). But I have to say that he is one the most effective rhetoricians that I have ever read. His loquacious pyrotechnics rank right up there with the rhetorical hand-grenades that Martin Luther used to hurl at his opponents with great effect.
Doug Wilson pulls no punches in his recent critique of Pastor Brian McLaren’s inability to define homosexuality as sin (click here to see McLaren’s article). In a few short paragraphs, Wilson mounts a withering assault on McLaren’s tortured argument and then finishes him off with a wallop:
If you don’t know what to think about homosexuality, then get out of the ministry. If you can’t read the big E on the eye chart, then why should the rest of us follow you into the ditch? Now homosexuality is not the most important issue in the Bible, not by a long shot. But it is, thank God, one of the clearest. And if it is not clear to McLaren, or by his account, to most of the leaders of the emerging movement, then the time has come to look for another calling, and I hear UPS is looking for reliable drivers.
If someone were to ask me whether the Bible teaches that Jesus went to Capernaum, I would say yes, it does. I would not be in agony over the question. It is not the most important question, but it is clear. If someone were to ask if the apostle Paul taught that homosexual behavior (both male and female forms) is the dead end result of idolatry, I would say yes again. No agony in the exegesis whatever. There is only agony if you are lusting after respect from the world, which they will not give to you unless you are busy making plenty of room for their lusts. And that is what the emergent movement is doing — this is really all about sex. And, conveniently enough, this has the added benefit of making room for evangelical lusts. Son of a gun. All that agony paid off. . . (source).
The emergent folks who read Wilson’s critique will immediately write him off as having committed the unforgivable sin of being not-nice. Nevertheless, the frustration demonstrated in Wilson’s piece is one that is shared by many of us conservatives who can’t figure out why some of the Emergent folk always seem to be learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).
The sting of Wilson’s rebuke is not just the rhetoric, it’s the truth of the charge. I hope some will have the ears to hear it.